Creating Space for Great Learning
This week was in many ways defined by our launch of the BIS learning skills.
We all know that great schools are about more than academic outcomes - they develop skills and dispositions that prepare young people for successful learning beyond school, throughout life.
To supplement the work that is happening in subject lessons, and to allow students to focus on and develop their learning skills outside of their normal curriculum, our teachers devised a themed cross curricular learning skills day, ‘BISSPACE’. Last Thursday our students took one small step for BIS and embraced a range of challenges designed to develop the BIS Learning Skills.
The BIS Learning Skills link firmly with our School Mission, the IB learner profile and in addition draw upon evidence based sources on what leads to good learning. Read more...
Following a spoof emergency assembly where students were informed that the human race needed to migrate to a new planet with some fine dramatic performances by teachers the scene was set for BISSPACE Day.
The space theme served as a context for the development of the learning skills rather than to specifically teach knowledge of space exploration. We had great fun promoting and practising the learning skills in a memorable way in ‘gravity suits’, ‘low gravity, low oxygen environments’, and ‘escape pods’. Equally memorable were the debates and thought experiments around the design and leadership of a new society as well as agonising over which members of our current society should be selected to migrate.
As do all whole school activities this day also provided many opportunities for students, younger and older, to demonstrate their commitment to the characteristics we value most at BIS as well as building on the spirit that exists here at AP2. The combination of different perspectives brought by different age students to the same problem not only illuminated the value of collaborative creativity and problem solving but also the comradery borne out of great team work. Many new connections and friendships were made across the year groups on the day.
It is also especially important that we allow our IB students the opportunity to demonstrate the wider personal characteristics that universities and employers value. Notably, their leadership of the student groups was a very strong feature throughout the day on which I congratulate and thank them all.
BISSPACE day certainly delivered on its promise as one of the highlights of the academic year so far.
On behalf of all the teachers I also wish to express my thanks for the excellent welcome that awaited us on Friday morning – our PTG and student helpers had prepared a stunning array of food and drink to start the day off. Thank you so much for your kind thought and brilliant breakfast, it was very much appreciated by all of the AP2 teachers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update.